Monday, November 14, 2011

Advice from Former Spanish CSL Student: Internships and Volunteering in Latin America

by Ann Abbott

I just heard from one of my former students, Sarah Moauro, who has built a wonderful international life for herself in Latin America. I know that so many of my current students would love to do exactly what Sarah is doing, and she actually has some really good, specific advice. If you want to contact Sarah, just let me know (!

Here's Sarah's message:

Hi Ann,

I hope you're doing well and that it's not too cold yet in Illinois! I was just thinking that if you have any students coming to/studying in Buenos Aires or Latin America in general this year, here are a couple of ideas you could let them know about.

Over the last couple of months, I have been volunteering at an NGO called Fundacion Pro Vivienda Social. They do microfinance programs to help communities improve their housing and neighborhoods by developing infrastructure. They're almost always looking for more interns, helping with research or with communications, so it is something that could be useful for a lot of backgrounds (economics, political science, business, marketing are the most common). They usually ask interns to commit to 3 months.

If you have students coming to Buenos Aires that are interested in journalism (as well as marketing/event planning at times), I have friends that work for a English-speaking newspaper down here called The Argentina Independent. They always have a set of interns and the paper gets involved in some pretty interesting things (as well as have a fun community).

Also, for anyone coming to Latin America to study or volunteer, I have a friend who works for a scholarship fund that gives out two scholarships of $500 every month. It's called LIVfund and is pretty new - it's something that I think would interest people that take your courses.

Anyways, I just wanted to say hello and share these with you - from personal experiences, I know that finding good places to volunteer and intern without paying to do it isn't as easy as it should be.

There are more things you can do around here that involve basic volunteering (teaching English in a poorer neighborhood a couple hours a week, weekend activities for groups like Un Techo para mi Pais that is similar to Habitat for Humanity), but I wanted to send you things that were more internship/work experience related. Feel free to put people in touch with me if anyone is interested in any of them.

All the best,


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